Norwood Stucco declares Senergy’s Insulated Masonry Veneer System a Gamechanger
With the introduction of the Insulated Masonry Veneer System from Senergy Wall Systems, Norwood Stucco finds the solution to the challenges of installing stone facades
Randy Norwood started Norwood Stucco in 1992 at only 21 years of age and has worked to build it into one of the largest and most highly regarded commercial and residential contractors in the Southeast, specializing in the installation of commercial and residential stucco, EIFS, stone, pedestrian traffic coatings, liquid weather barriers and building envelope work of all kinds.
Proudly, Randy Norwood’s business has always been a family business—whether that means his nuclear family like his wife and partner Stacy running the office, and his son about to join the team, or his work family like his three crews who he notes are made up of guys who have been with him for years, job after successful job.
“The number two compliment we get is from our repeat customers who say they really respect that they are seeing the same guys over and over again on every job—they know that they are dedicated and reliable and committed to the work,” he said.
What’s the number one compliment coming into Norwood Stucco offices? It’s that customers really like seeing Randy himself on the job site.
“I’m a plasterer by trade and a field guy at heart—if I could give up all the administrative stuff and be working on site all day, I’d be very happy,” he said. “And it’s good for the project too. My guys see me there early in the morning doublechecking the scaffolding for their safety, and see me working hard to do a quality job on my task so the next guy can do his—it can’t help but keep the rhythm of the job site smooth and drive us all to be even better at what we’re doing.”
Doing stone better
Is there something on the job site that Norwood doesn’t like?
“We won’t bid on installing stone facades,” he said. “I’ve always felt that the technology just wasn’t there. You have to penetrate the air barrier a million times in the installation process, bringing in the threat of water leakage—and that’s a big deal for wall damage, deterioration to the metal studs and impacting the building air quality. Also, the stone itself never seemed to be adhered to my satisfaction. I didn’t want the concern or the liability.”
All that changed recently, he noted, when a colleague told him about a new product that was nearing release—the Senergy Insulated Masonry Veneer System from Master Builders Solutions.
“It was clearly a gamechanger that I wanted to bring to every client even considering stone,” he said. “In fact, I presented it on my very next job—even though it wasn’t even available yet! I had confidence that it would be available by the time the job started—and I had confidence that the product would be everything that Master Builders Solutions promised it would be.”
He notes that, availability wise, it was close to the wire, with the product arriving just in time as the job began. The performance of the Insulated Masonry Veneer System was another story, he says—it delivered everything he had hoped for and more.
“It’s all done with wet adhesive so there is no need to penetrate the air barrier at all,” he explained. “It’s one single sheet of continuous insulation top to bottom without thermal breaks anywhere. That gives the building tremendous R values.”
But, notes Norwood, his most lavish praise is reserved for MaxGrip Veneer Mortar, the setting bed mortar is used to adhere the masonry veneer.
“This is the best adhesive product I have ever used. The quality of adhesion is just unbelievable. There’s no comparison to anything else out there in the areas of ease of use and the bond quality and speed. Really—one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi and it’s on there forever,” he said. “In fact, you’d better get it right when you place it because it’s never coming off.”
Norwood says he found this out personally when a client told him that another contractor needed access to a portion of the outside wall to fix a plumbing related issue and asked his team to remove a small portion of the stone.
“With other systems, you can pry the stone off, no problem. With this, we had to literally beat the stones to dust to get him access,” he explained. “Really, I never enjoyed ‘extra’ work so much. It really demonstrated to me how safely adhered the stone was for everyone. It makes me feel good when I’ve put in a 25-foot stone wall that people are constantly walking under. On other buildings, stones come loose over time as they get compromised by weather, maintenance people, various day to day activity. I really don’t think this system will ever have that issue.”
Norwood says that his anticipation that the Insulated Masonry Veneer System would be a gamechanger has proven to be accurate, and he has talked it up to all the architects and building owners he works with. In fact, now that he has no qualms about taking on masonry projects, it has opened up profitable new opportunities for Norwood Stucco, and he notes that he has specified the system or is about to on about a dozen new jobs. Further, he notes, once he explains the Insulated Masonry Veneer System he is specifying to the decisionmakers, they more than likely change their spec to include it, and tap him for the job.
“The Insulated Masonry Veneer System is clearly superior. Anytime you can provide your clients with a better air barrier—especially in hurricane-prone areas—you should do it. It’s safer, it saves money upfront and it saves energy every day. Nothing ever existed like this before and I suggest this product be strongly considered for nearly every masonry project,” he said. “It’s not only a business benefit to me to have access to this system, it’s also a benefit to me as a professional knowing that, with the Insulated Masonry Veneer System, I can be 100% confident that I am delivering the best possible result to my customer.”